Getting Drafty In Here

23 February 2001

So I finished the Sioux Falls story today. I'm not sure why I call it that. Very little of it - a couple hundred words at most - takes place in Sioux Falls. But that's where my South Dakota relatives live, and so that's where I'm getting my South Dakota Stuff.

I never thought I would write a story related to South Dakota. Ever. It's not a place I've enjoyed all that much, although I love some people who live or lived there. But the "write what you know" adage sometimes bites me in the butt: I end up having to write what I know, because that's what's bugging at my brain. And it flowed out. It just felt so familiar. I knew how these people talked, what they ate, how they would behave if someone showed up unexpectedly on their doorstep with plans for building artificial intelligences on a large scale. So the last bit is extrapolation. The point is that I know the people that well. And while the characters are not my cousins or their friends, they inhabit the same world. I don't know - maybe I'll get this edited and it'll be cool and I'll get it published and the extended family will explode in bitterness. Or maybe it'll just be something I needed to write to get it out of my system. It's always hard for me to tell when I finish a draft.

Man. I have so much editing to do, after this week. I am so grateful I don't do this all the time. It would drive me totally insane. Even the same word count on the Novel would have been much more manageable, because things wouldn't have to be complete in a day.

And I'm not really sure what I'm going to write about tomorrow. (Suggestions? "Bears!" "Cheese!" "Kelp farming!" Okay, I'm open to good suggestions.) It's not that I don't have story ideas sitting around. Really really really it's not. It's just that at this point, none of them are jumping off the page at me, screaming, "Write me! Write me now!" Maybe in the morning they will.

I was thinking about lame titles, because today's Sioux Falls story, when it is not being called "the Sioux Falls story" is being called "Cousins." Which is pretty much just as lame. And I realized that I've referred to my YA fantasy series as "the other place series." In public, now, because it's in this journal. It needs a zippier title than that, I'm thinking. I don't know what, though. (If I did, I'd use it. Brilliant.) One of the problems is that the other world involved is not called the same thing by everyone, and there is no One True Name. (There is no One True Anything in these books, as much as I can help it. I hate One True Stuff. I am many things, but a Platonist I am not.) So I can't call it "The Chronicles of Avrenes" (which worked quite well for Narnia and Prydain), because it's not really Avrenes. That's just a convenience. So are all names? True. But usually there's some consistency in them. This world - ooh, hey, good analogy, sleepy M'ris. This world is like my friend Ed. His name is Nathan, or so his parents thought. They also were not in touch with reality enough to give him a middle name that had anything to do with being Ed. Then he got to college and Aaron rectified matters, and now he's Ed. Sort of. Except lots of people don't see his shining internal Edness, so they still call him Nathan and put it on his paychecks and stuff. And think that those of us who call him Ed are kinda nuts. Well, Avrenes is like that. It's also called Nomis. Or just "the other place." (As, I suppose, Ed could be called "that tall Gustavus computer science major" - about equally helpful in figuring out which one you mean, if you don't already know.)

Maybe it's just a sign that I'm really tired, but I'm all happy with this silly little analogy now. Just in case it is, I'm going to read The Truth (it's a Terry Pratchett novel) and go to bed. Sweet dreams.

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